Bill Traylor was born on an Alabama cotton plantation in 1853. After the Civil War ended his servitude, he continued working as a sharecropper for the family that once owned him until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery working odd jobs until, in his 80s, he was unable to hold a job and became homeless.
Instead of disappearing from the historical record, Traylor began to draw and paint using whatever materials he could find. Through his artwork, Traylor created a new, personal visual language to record the stories of his life and the community around him through color and composition evocative of jazz and blues music. Today, Bill Traylor is considered by many in the international art world as a significant contributor to 20th century American art.
The film explores the impact of a former slave and how he became a significant contributor to 20th-century art. The film will be shown at the Goldstein Center on GMC Campus. A Q&A will follow the screening of the film.
This event is made possible through the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, a South Arts program. Since its inception, Southern Circuit has brought the best independent filmmakers and their films from around the country to communities throughout the South.
The program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.